Last week I was interviewed by The Economist on the role of IT in the connection between companies and customer expectations. While I believe it can give businesses the best flexibility to respond to ever-changing customer expectations, I also think a more holistic view on big data is needed to shape their experience and make it more personal.Taking advantage of the data generated in our companies is a priority. High-quality data management enhances our knowledge and adds value to decision-making. It even allows us to anticipate future challenges. However, we’re only just peeling the first layer of the onion in terms of the data that we currently hold. The coming years will get challenging in data management given that, worldwide, big data market revenues for software and services are estimated to increase from $42bn in 2018 to $103bn in 2027. Data will be ever more relevant, shedding light on customers, their experience with a company and, if we look closely, we can adjust our company’s own processes, service and technology accordingly.Reshape the organization around experienceAccording to Gartner’s ‘Customer Experience in Marketing’ Survey, 81% of companies will mostly or completely compete on the basis of Customer Experience in two years’ time. Yet only 22% say their Customer Experience efforts have exceeded customer expectations.Whenever a consumer interacts with a company, he or she is providing us with valuable information about what (s)he thinks and feels in relation to the company. It’s our goal to capture these tendencies in order of preference and develop a specific experience for each individual consumer. Setting up a system with a single source of truth for all data can thus enable fine profiling.It’s only through profiling and segmentation that we are able to design the ultimate customer experience. Big data presents a unique opportunity for the detection of segments. Based on the collected data, we reorganize our companies around customer segments and adapt technology to 1) appropriately capture data and 2) enhance what we know about our segments. Big data enables deeper and more granular customer segmentation than ever before.AI tuned to the consumerAs the urge for personalization grows because of the desire for more control in the face of information overload, big data makes it possible to predict what a person is most interested in by combining the loads of data we collect on a person and the use of artificial intelligence.Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can discover hidden correlations or help companies create pinpoint service offers expressly tailored to the individual. This is, of course, a huge benefit to any company trying to sell online.Big data and AI also play a big role in improving the products companies produce. Callaway Golf is collecting data on how their golf clubs are used and is coupling that with AI capabilities to design the product in a way that suits the player better. Another fine example is our partnership with Gustave Roussy. Through a holistic IT transformation, this comprehensive cancer center is able to decrease the time required to add value to clinical and academic data, provide access to these insights anytime, anywhere, through secure applications, and push the boundaries of scientific research by applying AI.Personify technologyWe live in a new era of human-machine partnerships. With the advent of new technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain and the Internet of Things, this relationship has become much more complex.We need to tailor this partnership to our company so that we can provide a more personal service. To achieve the maximum effect from AI’s potential, organizations need to understand that authenticity and transparency are key if companies want to maintain their customers’ trust.It comes down to making the distinction: a number of interactions can perfectly be handled by machines but, for some interactions, only a real human representative can perform the necessary work. As great as technology can be, it doesn’t replace our basic need for human intimacy.This partnership also gives companies the opportunity to reflect on what makes our customers choose our services and tailor our machines to personalize that choice.Want to read more? Discover our data capital hub at The Economist or dive into the interview here.
In the past, I’ve talked about how technology has been successfully deployed on big ships like ocean cruisers and defense vessels but what about fast leisure craft, like powerboats, speedboats and ribs?I don’t know about you, but I felt that these sailors had literally missed the boat (pardon the pun) when it came to the latest and greatest technology, particularly around safety. And yet, according to the European Boating Industry, 36 million Europeans are boaters. Over six million boats are kept in European waters while 4,500 marinas provide 1.75 million berths both inland and in coastal areas.Experts together for safetyI spoke to other colleagues in the industry. Together, we decided we were going to address this gap. Our mission was to design a fast boat, equipped to operate in extreme environments with rugged technology to track performance and importantly, deliver new levels of safety.Together, we assembled a group of like-minded marine visionaries, namely: Safehaven Marine, boat designers and builders; Navarino, one of the world’s largest distributors of integrated satellite communications solutions, Iridium, a leading mobile satellite communications company, 8West, a software development and consultancy company with a focus on innovative marine safety solutions, and of course, yours truly from Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Maritime.First of its kindThis wasn’t a talk forum or an excuse for PowerPoint slides. We didn’t sit around, drink coffee and shoot the breeze! No, over the last three years, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and worked together to design and build a prototype boat in Cork, Ireland, like no other. And where better than Cork – home to one of the largest natural harbours in the world and the oldest yacht club?This experience has been what I would call a labour of love, a collaboration where we collectively worked as a single crew, using a combination of tried and trusted craftsmanship honed over the centuries allied with the latest technology.Wave-piercing designBuilt by Safehaven Marine, the boat design in itself is revolutionary, crossing a wave-piercing monohull with a catamaran hull with four Caterpillar C8.7 650hp engines providing top speeds in excess of 50 knots.Ruggedised technology Picture a 75 foot boat, equipped with customised and rugged military-grade compute and network infrastructure, including Dell Latitude 7424 laptops, PowerEdge XR2 rugged servers, Dell 3002 IoT Edge Gateways and switches. All our rugged technology packs a punch and is ideal for tough conditions and tight spaces.Ship to shoreFrom a communications perspective, the boat is fitted with Dual Cobham Sailor 4300 Iridium Certus L-band satcom antennas, a Navarino Infinity Cube dual node, high availability , high performance/active cluster plus IoT G-force sensors, which connect real-time to Azure via a dual-site connection.Information is powerUsing Dell Edge Gateways, these sensors collect and analyse data, gathering a huge range of inputs, for example, the weather, temperature and humidity, engine data, speed, geographical position plus sea motions like heave, pitch, roll and acceleration. A real-time web portal allows the crew to record and analyse vessel performance in real-time before live-streaming the data onshore.Search and rescue functionalityThat’s not all! In addition to performance data, Safe Trx Ranger software from 8West can automatically track the boat’s location and alert emergency contacts ashore, should the craft fail to return on time.In this scenario, the user’s location is automatically sent to the SafeTrx Monitoring Console, meaning that the Coast Guard can instantly view the position of the emergency call, accessing vessel name, user name, gender, phone number, vessel name, craft type, radio equipment, last reported position, people on board, activity and trip ID. The application also displays the location, speed and heading on the emergency call screen.Cost-effective, easy and reliableImportantly, the system provides boat users who don’t have or use Automatic Identification System (AIS) on board with a cost-effective, automated and reliable way to keep the Search and Rescue authorities informed of their voyage plans and location. In fact, SafeTrx is the first data source that focuses on leisure craft users without AIS. In this way, it significantly contributes to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) IMdatE maritime situational awareness picture.What a beauty!I believe that as a team, we have achieved our goal. Our prototype boat is capable of delivering fast performance in extreme environments and comes complete with rugged, reliable IT infrastructure, promising new levels of safety for leisure craft.Our team is proud to participate in this partnership and contribute to better safety standards at sea. I believe that this is a great example of how IT technology can be a force for good, driving human progress and making a real difference to society.Are you a regular sailor? Do you work in the maritime industry? Do you have comments or questions? Do join the conversation. We’d love to hear from you. Learn more about Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Learn more about our maritime solutionsKeep in touch. Follow us on Twitter @DellTechOEM or @Etienne_Mary. Join our LinkedIn OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Showcase page here.
Most IT professionals know too well the balancing act of wanting to implement cutting-edge, modern solutions while still maintaining control of the overall IT landscape. Your IT organization is committed to supporting the workloads that the business depends on for success – whatever that takes. But ideally, whatever new deployment your critical workloads demand won’t chip away at the control over your IT environment that your team has worked hard to establish.Those of you who have read our past blogs on optimizing your organization’s infrastructure for critical workloads have heard us go through some of the benefits of modernizing your infrastructure with an eye towards end-to-end optimization. We’ve explored how workload placement strategy requires continued attention over time, and how a hybrid approach to IT will set your organization up with the flexibility that needed as applications mature and new demands come up. But you may still find yourself asking how you can best leverage a variety of options in your IT purchasing – without losing control. Is there a way to engage in that freedom of choice, without sacrificing your command over your organization’s IT landscape?One thing that all IT organizations have in common – no matter the size, the location or the industry – is this desire to avoid making a choice that pigeonholes your future decision making or creates a siloed IT experience. Whenever a new workload is prioritized, IT should not have to upend long-term strategies to support it. But when looking at your deployment options, choice with control may seem out of reach.We hear from customers across the global that they see Dell Technologies as a unique technology provider for their organizations because we can scratch this exact itch. Folks keep turning to our portfolio time and time again because our wide range of servers, data storage and data protection systems given them the flexibility that their infrastructure decisions require when needs change. Dell Technologies can provide you with that range of choice you desire, without disrupting on the overall IT vision your organization has worked hard to support.As applications mature and needs change, your team will be best prepared to react if they have a flexible and secure infrastructure behind them. Take our extensive line of Dell EMC PowerEdge servers as a prime specimen. The PowerEdge platform can help you establish the right hybrid infrastructure for your IT organization, providing you with the choice and the control that you need as you determine the best placement options for each of your critical business workloads over time.Drive workload and analytics success with modern PowerEdge servers that allow your team to optimize the overall infrastructure by running the same capacity and performance on fewer servers, freeing resources to tackle application transformations. Our leading servers run your critical workloads with ease, so that you can keep the focus on supporting pressing asks from the business and helping to drive your overall organization forward. Configure to meet your needs and meet workloads where they need to be.Whatever workload is the priority for your organization, PowerEdge allows you to tailor the experience for your IT team. With one-click BIOS tuning, we enable quick-and-easy deployment via workload-optimized server configuration profiles. This allows you to deploy and run without delay – so that your IT staff can support requests from the business without interruption. From edge – to core – to cloud, PowerEdge can support even your most advanced workloads needs with a familiar experience across them all. Learn how one company found the ideal IT infrastructure solution with the Dell EMC PowerEdge MX platform and OpenManage systems management:All of our advanced offerings – including the advanced Dell EMC PowerEdge platform – are available with flexible payment options through Dell Technologies On Demand. And Dell Technologies On Demand also includes value-added services with ProDeploy, ProSupport and Managed Services, which can be paired with all financial consumption models offered. By working with a technology provider who can offer you a seamless experience from end-to-end, you too can meet your organization’s most critical workloads where they need to be – on demand – and with all your public, private and edge clouds within reach.And of course – any organization who partners with Dell Technologies benefits from even more points of seamless integration across the digital landscape thanks to our extended Dell Technologies family. For example, PowerEdge servers support the latest VMware stack, including VMware vSphere® 7 with Kubernetes®, VMware vSAN™ 7, and VMware Cloud Foundation™. You may have heard us say that our story began with two technology companies and one shared vision: to provide greater access to technology for people around the world. That mission continues forward proudly to this day.Dell Technologies can provide you with the freedom of choice that you deserve, without making you sacrifice the control that your team needs and deserves. With the right technology in the right place, Dell Technologies and our powered-up portfolio will empower your IT organization with choice and control as your team as you build, run and manage your hybrid cloud.For more on this topic, please visit here.All entries:Optimize Your Infrastructure for Critical Business WorkloadsPamper Workloads with Powered-up Performance From PowerMaxEase Workload Management with Trusted Simplicity From PowerProtectKeep Focus on Workloads with a Future-Proof InfrastructureMigrate Critical Workloads with Dell Technologies ServicesEnjoy a Seamless Workload Experience with Dell Technologies Cloud
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two White House officials say President Joe Biden on Monday will formally reinstate COVID-19 travel restrictions on non-U.S. travelers from Brazil, Ireland, United Kingdom and 26 other European countries that allow travel across open borders. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss the upcoming order. The officials also confirmed that South Africa would be added to the restricted list because of concerns about a variant of the virus that has spread beyond that nation. Biden is effectively reversing an order from President Donald Trump in his final days in office that called for the relaxation of the travel restrictions.
LONDON (AP) — A report commissioned by the British government is urging a radical transformation in the way that countries around the world assess the state of their economies by elevating the natural world as a key element in their economic planning. The review of the economics of biodiversity by Professor Partha Dasgupta concludes that nature needs to become as valued as traditional gauges of economic wealth such as profits in the future. In the 600-page review published Tuesday, the University of Cambridge economist warned that current economic growth and prosperity have “come at a devastating cost to nature.” He said the coronavirus pandemic and the associated economic calamity is one illustration of what can happen when habitats are destroyed and species exploited.
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A military reservist who crashed his truck through a gate on the grounds where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives pleaded guilty to eight charges. Corey Hurren faced 21 weapons charges and one of threatening the prime minister. However, he pleaded guilty to seven weapons charges related to possession of prohibited or restricted firearms “for a purpose contrary to the public peace″ and one charge of mischief. Hurren drove a truck onto the grounds on July 2 last year and rammed through the gate. Trudeau was not home at the time. Hurren told police he wanted to arrest Trudeau.